By: Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk
The winter months can be a tough time for golfers. Snow covers your local track and temperatures outside remind you more of the Arctic than Augusta. That doesn’t mean you can’t start working towards your 2014 golf goals.
Instead of bemoaning the fact you can’t play, the off season is a perfect time to work on your fitness. This is the time I go hard in the gym to prepare for the upcoming season. The stronger you are physically will not only help add distance to your game by increasing your club head speed it can also help you prevent injuries.
When people find out I am a long driver they always grab my arm and check out the “gun show”. I laugh. The secret to hitting it far is not in the arms but rather comes from core strength and explosive leg strength.
Here are 5 of my favorite exercises to work on those areas:
|1. Med ball twists: This will work on core strength in general but will target your oblique muscles. Your obliques are your turning muscles. When I want to hit it longer I don’t “swing” harder I “turn” harder.In a sitting position on the ground, take a med ball with a straight back (no hunching) slightly tilted back and feet planted on the ground.Do 5 sets of 20 rotations touching the ball to the ground each time.
*Challenge: Do the same exercise but in a v-sit position
|2. Planks: A plank looks like a simple and easy exercise but if done properly will have you shaking like a leaf and leave you with a strong core. Place your forearms down on the ground so they make a right angle with your upper arms. Tuck your toes under as if you were in a push-up position and make your body flat. You want to squeeze your gluttes together along with tucking your hips toward your belly button. Your back should be flat. Make sure not to have a dip in your back or have it pressed up to high in a “V”. You want to look like a board.Hold the plank for 30 seconds 3 times a week to start with and each week try to add an additional 10 seconds.
*Challenge: Do this exercise with your feet on a med ball or forearms on a roller
|3. Lunges: This exercise focuses on the legs. It is a dynamic movement. You want to stand up tall and then take a step forward bending your front leg to a 90 degree angle and keeping your back leg straight with your back toe tucked under. Hold it for 2 seconds and then step up and step forward with your other leg repeating the movement.Do 3 sets of 20 lunges.
*Challenge: Start in the lunge position and use your arms to jump up. Switch legs in mid-air and land with your opposite leg forward. Immediately jump up again and repeat switching legs for 20 times in a row.
|4. Supermans: This exercise will work on lower back strength and glutte strength. Having a strong lower back will prevent common golfing injuries and strong gluttes help to make you turn harder.Start by lying on your stomach on the ground. Hold a broom stick handle shoulder distance apart. Lift your arms and feet up as high as you can go. This will also work on your shoulder flexibility.Hold this position for 1 minute straight.
*Challenge: Use a weighted bar
|5.Wall sits: Stand with your back flat against a wall with your feet shoulder distance apart firmly planted on the ground. Slide down the wall until you are in a seated position with your upper thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure your lower back is pressed against the wall and arms are hanging down.Hold this position for 30 seconds 3 times a week. Each week try to add 10 more seconds.
*Challenge: After doing wall sits take a 1 minute break then do consecutive tuck jumps for 30 seconds to a minute straight.
Hopefully these tips help you add distance to your game and make your stronger! Go long!
Lisa is the 7-time Canadian Long Drive Champion for women, a golf entertainer and a motivational speaker. Lisa can be reached through Claudio at email@example.com .